Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The sacred corner of Temperance and Butler

I received an email recently from my 90 year old Uncle. He 
was explaining to me the significance of the corner in Fresno 
of Butler/Temperance Avenues. My grandparents owned 40 
acres on that NW corner from 1938-1943. 

I became curious about the school Mom and her brothers 
walked to...just a short ways from their 40 acres where they 

So Monday evening Dennis and I did a "drive through" 
sort of get the feel of what my mom experienced everyday 
walking to school. 

Take a look what I mean....

Should you be interested....
here are the details of my Uncle's email:
Hi, Jill,
 Our 40 acres of alfalfa was at the NW corner of Temperance and Butler. Dad
bought the place in 1938 and sold it in 1943 as it became evident that Ted and I
were headed to war and he would be without help. Besides, he was in foreclosure.
Mom took a job to try to save the farm, and we would have been evicted but for
a Depression-era law that allowed farmers in default to enter bankruptcy and stay on
the land. As part of the deal, Dad and Mom were supervised by a bankruptcy referee
who oversaw their checking account. Any expenditure — even a check for $5 —
had to be approved by him. I can't recall his name but Dad called him Uncle Bulgy. 
Security First National Bank of Los Angeles held the mortgage. The nasty
letters threatening my father were always signed by a vice president named
J.A. Carter. Of course we kids turned that into Jack Ass Carter.

The farm was subdivided in the 1960s. Our two-bedroom, two-bath house
was long ago razed. The second "bath" was an outhouse we called the Hotel
Tulare because the metal door was a highway sign that advertised that hotel.
Dad paid $200 an acre, or $8,000 for the 40 acres and a house. After five years
of hard work and futility, he sold for an amount unknown to me. His down payment was
the $2,000 settlement he got from workman's compensation for the broken hip he
suffered his first day on a bridge-building project. The wonder is that there was workman's
comp at all in 1934. The other wonder was that his new job, after years of unemployment
and fruit-peddling, paid $1 an hour, or the sum of $40 a week! Far better than the $18
he got from workman's comp to support a family of five.

I was born in Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield. It's still there. Today, new mothers are
kicked out the day after birth. Then, they were confined two weeks. It was an
especially hot summer and of course there was no AC. She spoke of her discomfort

Uncle Don

Since it was difficult making out her report card on the movie, 
I put it again here:

Good thing they gave her excellent in "courteous and 
considerate" because many many years later she kept in 
touch with 3 of her teachers, 
even visiting them in care facilities. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

So I turned to my ward family....

Do you know what I thought of as I listened to Elder Larry Lawrence's talk 
at conference yesterday morning?

I thought of my sister Peggy back in 1974. Poor thing

My parents were in Colorado and I was running the show at home.
Peggy came down with a severe case of hives. She was 12, and I was 19. 

I continually kept Peggy covered with wet baking soda and then placed towels
all over her body to keep the baking soda from falling off. 

I put some blankets on the floor by my bed,
 so I could put fresh baking soda on her round the clock.
(uh, the patient should have been on the bed...sorry Peggy)

I guess it helped with the itching or I wouldn't have kept it up.
But still she was miserable.

Over a few days times she was not getting better. 
The hives kept spreading...(Was there Benadryl back then?)

I knew we needed a doctor to look at her.
but by then it was the weekend.

We recently had a young couple, Larry and Laurel Lawrence with their baby Case,
move into our ward...and I heard he was a I called him at home.

After all, Mom had told me many times our ward was our extended family.

Didn't phase me that Larry Lawrence was an eye doctor, and just beginning his residency.
Back then, to me, a Dr was a Dr.

But nevertheless this kind man came right over. 
He checked her hives and noticed the swelling of her joints 
and then told me we really should get her to a hospital. 

So we did just that. 

The Drs were concerned at first that Peggy had this rare disease of some kind.
She didn't. So she was treated and released. 
This was over 40 years I don't even remember what the treatment was.

But I've never forgotten how Brother Lawrence who came right over to our house to help.

And never even hinted that it was a bother.
Come to think of it, he acted like it was an honor.

And Elder Lawrence's talk yesterday?
It was SO good, (Den called it "very practical") that I will share it on another post.

Friday, October 2, 2015

A list of the changes back at the home

I'd been wondering what happened here since Dad and Susan left over a year ago....

So yesterday I went to find out.

But mostly I wanted to see Annette...
I enjoyed getting updates about her children: 
Paulette, Jeanette, and Annette Jr.
and her sons, Peter, Paul, and John.

And this is what I learned about the residents:

1. She said 75 year old identical twins, Julie and Joan,  are living in Dad and Susan's old apartment.
They dress alike everyday and their 102 year old mother lives with them there.

2. Last we knew there was a big romance between Richard and Margarite. So I asked if they were 
still an item. She said Richard sadly passed away, and then Margarite moved in with her son.

3. Barbara W is 94 and she still swims but she can't drive.

4. Norma who had polio as a child, can no longer throw the dice during bingo.

5. My high school's coach from the 1970s is still living there. 
He had a girlfriend but she broke her back and is now living in another facility.
But the Coach visits her often.

6. Donna moved to Oklahoma and lives on Indian property and just pays $200. for rent. 

7. I asked about another woman and I can't remember her name but Annette's reply was:"She's on 
oxygen and has one foot on a banana peel." I have never heard that expression!

6. Brenda died last November at the age of 94. She fell in her room but no one knew until Annette 
noticed she didn't show up for lunch that day. Annette insisted someone check on her. She was found 
and they were able to they to call an ambulance. Unfortunately she died shortly after that. 
Brenda's family was so appreciative to Annette for helping her!

7. Dana, the happy activities lady is retiring on Monday and moving to Hawaii!

There was more, but that's all I could get notes on. 

Such challenges these people are all going through.
Yet I see lots of smiles, 
and look what one lady put on her walker!

The place is full to capacity and there is a waiting list to move in.
Not that I want to move in.  

There must be something that happens courageously between my 
age and the age of these residents, 
because I'm very much lacking in that kind of strength.

I was sitting by this woman, I later discovered was Doreen 
Garn, and for some reason she asked for my maiden name. 
When I said it was Rozier she said she knew my mom! 
She said she use to have color classes my mom would attend back in the 1970s. 
I do remember when Mom went through her color coordinating phase.

Annette was full of questions about my Dad and Susan.
She kept saying, "I am watching a miracle. This is a miracle right here."

She also said to everyone at the table,
"Susan is so devoted to Jill's father. 
She takes such good care of him!"
Amen to that!

After lunch Annette invited me up to her apartment on the 3rd floor.

I like her view

The grass has to be dead, 
but the trees are still hanging in there. Sort of.
We actually got some rain while I was there.

Annette proudly showed me her doll house. 
She's been working on it since 1988.

Nearly 3 hours later I left wondering how these older ones 
get through their days. 

Years ago I asked a very wise older friend of mine, Bonnie Van 
Wagenen, what the point of suffering was at the end of our lives.

I remember her saying it is to help us be more willing 
to leave this life, and go on to better.

I need to get tougher.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

McKay coaching Grant

We start them young at our church.

Once a year the 3-11 year olds all over the world, basically take over our Sacrament meeting.
We call it the Primary Program.

The little tiny ones, like our grandson Grant in the video below, get to recite a part. As they grow a
little older they are encourage to share more of their own thoughts and feelings.

So here is Grant practicing for his part. He melts my Grandma Honey heart.

Monday, September 28, 2015

A few from the past

Gina (from the last post) found these going through her parents things. 

 They were most likely taken during get togethers with Rex and Vonda.

Proof our parents really did have a life outside of us
because I don't remember Mom blowing one of those at home.

Mom SO did not like to smile for photos. I don't think she knew how.

Even when she tried to smile, it didn't quite work for her.

Gina also gave me these 3 Family Camp pictures...

My youngest brother Chris, Gina's brother Val, a boy I don't recognize??, and my brother Scott.

When Gina pulled this one out she said, "Look! It's Betty Jo."
(and of course her children and husband)
Betty Jo was one of my youth leaders back in the 1960-70s....She was in a class by herself.

And so concludes my little look back today to the 1970s.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

How we live is who we are

Every Friday while I was in 7th, 8th, and 9th soon as the last bell rang at Tioga Jr High,
I would rush to my locker, throw my books in, 
and then walk the 3 blocks to this family's house:

Because every Friday, while Rex was working and Vonda was getting her hair done

....I had a little job of watching their kids.

Last Friday, as he had done for years and years, Rex took Vonda to get her hair done.

Sunday he had a stroke.

Tuesday, he kept trying to get out of bed saying he needed to make toast for Vonda.
He made breakfast every morning for her and put it in the fridge so she would have it when she woke
up. His daughter, Gina assured him, she would make her Mom's toast.

Rex slipped into a coma later that day and passed into the next life (yesterday) 3 days later.

We were with them the night before he died. As Den and I walked into their home I had forgotten
about the angels....but I felt them immediately. I knew they were there.

We probably stayed too long that evening but I didn't want to go. I could feel the peace and love in
that room. Rex's body was still and quiet, but his spirit was strong.
I could feel heaven and earth coming together. I wanted to stay.

Growing up, I spent LOTS of time in the Morrison home. 
Rex served even served as our bishop for several years.
To his right is Chuck Sherrill, but can't remember the two in the back?

My parents were close friends to Rex and Vonda for over 50 years. 

The Stidhams, Weltons, Harlines, Robertsons, my parents, Morrisons. 
(not sure who the man is to the far right?)

As Den and I were finally leaving the Morrison home Thursday evening, 
we passed this saying on their wall. 

Rex Morrison was one of the hardest working men I'd ever known.
Even at 91, and on hospice, he continued to take care of his yard....

and make his wife's breakfast every morning.

Even with his heart working at 10%, and then the stroke,
Rex still felt determined to get up and make Vonda's toast.

Funeral service Wednesday, 1 pm. Fresno Stake Building.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Someday we may know the rest of the story

“….Someday we may find out about the millions of times 
we’ve been protected and watched over that we’re not 
even conscious of. In my prayers I try to acknowledge 
the Lord and the guidance and blessings I receive, and 
even the countless ways I don’t recognize or realize 
they’re there….”  
Oct. 5, 2009 by Elder Richard C Scott who passed away on Tuesday. 

I received a text earlier this week with the link to listen to a "conversation" with Elder Scott 
and his daughter Linda (the quote above was taken from that). My phone was acting a 
little crazy at the time so I didn't even know who sent the link. But I turned it on 
anyway, and it was so worth it!

I then discovered the Mormon Channel has 56 such "conversations" (informal interviews) to 
listen to. To me, this has been like finding a hidden treasure. Since these are audio, rather 
than video, I can get things done while listening. These recordings are by people in our 
church who have "a unique perspective, or an interesting story."

PS  Thanks to my sister Robin....turns out she was the unknown link sender. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Broccoli up a notch

For years every afternoon I listen to Gary Null's podcast. 
He's a very smart older scientist and I've come to trust his knowledge through the years. 

The first 20 minutes of his program he usually devotes to nutrition and health. 
Then he goes into politics but that's when I fall asleep. Literally. 
I love his soothing voice, and I usually do not like his politics.

For years he has talked about adding tumeric to broccoli and I finally tried it. 
Just olive oil, salt and turmeric. Sometimes garlic too.
With almonds sprinkled on top.

Love the taste of this blend. Turmeric adds something special. 

I knew this, but I just didn't know it tasted good until recently. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

And the parents have returned...

Why is it the parents can be gone a couple hours and the twins will 
run into their arms...but....
they leave for 4 days, and they act like they barely know them? 

The map below is for my Dad. 
He asked me last night where Amy and Logan went on this hike. 

We kept this map our fridge just in case 
we would need to get a search party.

So yes, I was very relieved when they came back. 

So lest you think the music I chose for this video 
was a bit dramatic, it wasn't.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Life at 6

Our grand twins have moved in for 4 days while their parents went hiking
somewhere out there that is not on fire. I hope.

Jonas and Tea think since they are the youngest in the family, they will marry last.
Like marriage is all about the birth order.

It's hard figuring out life when you're six...or what do do with their hands while talking!

Do we not make videos of our children and grandchildren so they can look back on them someday?
Well, it's already happening!

The twins have continually requested this one since yesterday...
To them, it's ancient. To me, it feels like last week.

Téa's always been in charge, even back then.